Primate Rescue Center

Our Residents

The Primate Rescue Center is home to more than 50 monkeys and apes, including 11 chimpanzees and 10 different species of monkeys. Some arrived here from research laboratories, where they had been used for everything from invasive medical procedures to human-vaccine testing; others had been abandoned by their owners, confiscated by authorities from those not licensed to keep them, or rescued from squalid, inhumane conditions. Some arrived here well-adjusted and in reasonably good health; others arrived malnourished, or in need of corrective surgery, or so psychologically damaged they shunned all contact with humans and other monkeys.

In short, the 50-plus animals we care for at the PRC have unique personalities and needs, and we always strive to accommodate their individual diets, quirks, conditions, and preferences. It’s often a daunting challenge, since answers are not always obvious: Did he skip those meals because he’s ill, or does he no longer like this food? Does she want these toys, or would she prefer some other form of enrichment? Can he thrive with companions, or is he better off—at least for now—living his life solo? And our efforts are always complicated by group dynamics that change with the arrival of a newcomer, shifting alliances, or the aging of increasingly boisterous and aggressive males with designs on an alpha role.

But if caring for these individuals is at times challenging, it’s also endlessly rewarding. After all, we not only get to know our residents as individuals, but we also bear witness to some remarkable transformations: primates who arrive here sickly and, by all measures, too psychologically scarred to enjoy their lives, gradually return to good health. Reveling in play, grooming their companions, or engaging in other species-typical behaviors–these are all positive signs of recovery. Ultimately, that’s why the PRC exists.

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